Expanding Your English Vocabulary

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Have you ever encountered a well-versed individual whose words seem to mesmerize you with every metaphorical or idiomatic expression he writes or announces? You stand there listening to their speeches with your mouth wide open with no words to describe how enchanting their choices of words are; always the right word and phrase for the right situation.

If you admire these individuals and wish to be like them as well, do know that it takes a lot of effort to be proficient enough with the English language to fully reach their level. However, there are procedures which may continuously improve your vocabulary and your choice of words so that you may one day, come close to, if not surpassing, the person who inspired you to have a better archive of words to utilize.

Importance of vocabulary

As you move upwards the academic ladder, your skills and abilities are also expected to evolve and develop as well. and vocabulary is no exception to the rule. Have you ever noticed that as you progress from high school up to college that the words the teachers require you to utilize become more technical and complex? This is due to the fact that a higher level of vocabulary is needed for your papers and other outputs to sound and feel more professional to prepare you for the years to come when you will finally land a job.

A good vocabulary can make the difference when you formulate your resume or when you have our first interview as it can help convince your contractor that you are proficient enough and highly skilled. However, vocabulary is not the only criteria when employers are choosing the candidates lined up for the position they are offering. Other factors play an important role as well such as character, practical skills, and experience, but good vocabulary can aid you to be included in the short list as it can help leave a lasting expression for your employers.

Good vocabulary can also be used in other fields as well, such as sciences and journalism. Nobody wants a journalist who can only muster up a total of 800 words and repeatedly uses them on every article with no sign of improvement (I am rather curious if that were to actually happen as I am wondering how they got their job of being a journalist in the first place?).

With regards to the vast fields of sciences, good vocabulary can often mean a good or an excellent research paper, given that the researcher has followed the scientific method properly and has a very interesting research topic. You cannot simply classify any gaseous matter as “gas” as there are various types of gasses present which have different properties and characteristics.

Good vocabulary can also be used in the field of poetry and song writing, as people tend to associate complex and uncommon words with beautiful and quality lyrics. Good vocabulary can give the artist a whole lot more freedom to freely express his emotions through words as he can utilize more words which can give his lyrics more depth and vividness, thus giving he listeners a more relatable experience when listening to the song.

Now that you are knowledgeable of the importance of good vocabulary within different fields other than academics, it is now high time to work on improving your vocabulary to impress your friends or your teachers.

Read, read, read

The first thing you should prioritize when you are just starting out to improve your vocabulary is to read a large amount of literature, or just a about anything you can get your hands on.  By doing so, you can encounter unfamiliar words which you have no clue what is used for, or different uses of the words you are already familiar with which give them a fresh and unique use.

Much like how your imagination is limited to the things you already know. Your vocabulary is limited to the words which you have already come across or was taught to you. You cannot think up a new color no matter how hard you try, and you cannot learn of new words and how to use them without you actually encountering them for yourself. Just as a famous saying goes “You never know things you never knew.”

Look up words you don’t understand

After you have encountered a few words which you are unfamiliar with, the next step to improving your vocabulary is to look them up. You can utilize your dusty, left on the bookshelf, and never used more than thrice a month dictionary, human resources, or the trusty and ever-so-reliable internet. By looking up the definition of the words you have encountered, you can therefore add more words to your arsenal o be used for future use, given that you have not forgotten the word itself and its definition.

You cannot improve your vocabulary by just being aware of the existence of a certain word without knowing what it means and how it can be used. After all, what is the point of knowing a really complicated and unfamiliar word if you have no way to utilize them? You cannot call it vocabulary if you have no way to use and understand the word you have previously learned about.

Never be ashamed to ask

If by any chance, you encounter a new word which was spoken by a person and you fear that you may not be able to remember the word to look it up later, then you are always free to ask the person what the specific word means in order for you to gain a vague idea of the definition of the word you encountered. But do keep in mind to ask your questions for after the person has finished his discussions to prevent any rude interruptions.

Understand the function and uses of new words

After you have learned the word’s definition, you can then start to look up how and when they are used. As there are words which seem to be qualified to be used in a certain situation but are hugely out of place when used for other situations.

An example of his occurrence would be the word “execution”. As you can have a well-prepared execution of your performance (to do what is provided for), but you cannot have a well-prepared public execution of Captain Jack Sparrow (to put to death especially in compliance with a legal sentence). Context is very important for a better vocabulary and that is also one thing you should work on if you want to improve.

Incorporate them

The next thing you should do after you have learned the definitions of new words and how to use them is to try and incorporate them to your writings. You can add the word quintessential the next time an opportunity presents itself. Or you can incorporate the word seismic in your earth science homework to make your homework sound more professional.

By incorporating the words you have previously learned, you can become much more familiar with the word itself and be able to use your newly learned word with versatility and skill. You have then taken a step forward towards your journey on vocabulary improvement.

Feel free to make mistakes

If you somehow mess up the first time you use your newly learned word due to it being out of context or was just misused, then it is fine to laugh at your blunders and make a note to not repeat the same mistake again. A mistake is a sign of progress, but a mistake made over and over again is a sign of insolence and stubbornness to correct one’s mistake.

Get a home tutor

Want an easier way to increase your vocabulary without having to read thousands of printed and digital articles? Then you can opt to hire a English home tutor well-versed in the English language which has a wide array of words to impart to you. We, at FamilyTutor, as leading private tuition in Singapore have thousands of highly skilled and well-versed home tutors who are always willing to impart their knowledge to you. We have special English courses for you here at FamilyTutor which can help you improve your vocabulary in no time. 

Mix it up

After learning a few new words and understanding their basic uses, it is now time to proceed to experimentation. Try to utilize those newly learned words creatively in order for you to gain more use out of them, however, you should always stay aware of the context in which you use these words.

You can incorporate them in your metaphors which could make your English homework sound much more professional. Let your mind run wild and use your newly learned word to their full extent, that way you can grasp when and where the words should not be used and when they should be used for them to sound even flashier.

Continue to read

After your long and hard-fought journey towards a better vocabulary, there is never time to rest as there are more words for you to learn and use. By continuing to read various materials, you can continuously improve your vocabulary and may even become your hobby. Not only will you learn new words, but you can also learn various other things such as what you have learned while reading his article.

Interested to know about English Tuition? Explore our English Tuition blog section today!



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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